Francis Gregory Neubeck (born April 11, 1932) is a retired Colonel in the United States Air Force and a former USAF astronaut. Although he trained for the USAF Manned Orbital Laboratory (MOL), the program was cancelled before any of the MOL crews reached space.[1]

Neubeck was born April 11, 1932, in Washington, D.C., and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1955 from the United States Naval Academy. Although a USNA graduate, he chose to begin his career in the United States Air Force. In 1972, he earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Auburn University in Alabama.[2]

At the start of his USAF career, Neubeck worked on the development of weapons systems and as a flight instructor.[3] He graduated from the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School in class 60C, Aerospace Research Pilot School (ARPS) Class III, and MOL.[4] In 1965, he was selected as one of the first astronauts to the Air Force's classified Manned Orbital Laboratory.[5] The goal of the MOL program, canceled in 1969 before sending any astronauts into space, was to man a space station with military astronauts using a modified Gemini spacecraft.[6] The history of the MOL program was presented in the Public Television series NOVA episode called Astrospies which aired February 12, 2008.[7]

After the MOL program cancellation, Neubeck continued his USAF career including a combat tour in south-east Asia.[3] He also served as vice commander at the Tactical Air Warfare Center at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida before retiring from the Air Force in 1986.[2] Neubeck worked in the aerospace industry, became an author, and ran for public office.[3] In 1986, he became the Republican nominee for the U.S. House of Representatives from Florida's first congressional district but was not elected. As of 2007, Neubeck resides in Florida.[2]


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